Thousands flock to Hanoi's pagoda in the rain for Vu Lan Festival

VietNamNet Bridge - Thousands of people flocked to Hanoi's Phuc Khanh Pagoda in the rain yesterday evening to celebrate the Vu Lan Festival. As the pagoda is very small, people had to attend the rituals on the street.

Vu Lan (Ullambana) festival, also known as the Amnesty of Unquiet Spirits, is held during the seventh month of the lunar calendar, which is believed to be the spirit month.

Ullambana or Bon festival, the Festival of All Souls in Mahayana Buddhism, is celebrated on the seventh full moon of the lunar calendar in many Asian cultures as a way of honoring the dead. On this day, souls are believed to return to their former homes.

The origin of the Sanskrit name of the festival, Ullambana, is uncertain but appears in early Buddhist holy writings known as sutras. These stories tell how Sariputra and Maudgalyayana, the two principal disciples of the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, saved their mothers from needless suffering after death.

The original idea of this ceremony is contained in the legend of Maudgalyayana, known as Muc Kien Lien in Vietnam, one of the 10 great students of Buddha, as well as in the Ullambana Sutra (The Buddha Speaks the Ullambana Sutra) which was translated into Chinese by Dharmarakya in third century and became very popular in Vietnam.

According to the Sutra, Maudgalyayana, thanks to his divine eye, saw that his mother had been reborn as a hungry spirit because of evil actions in her previous life. He wanted to save her but as an Arhat Maudgalyayana could not save her by himself. The Buddha told him that only the combined effort of all Buddhist monks could soothe the sufferings of the tormented. He directed Maudgalyayana to organize an assembly of monks to make offerings for the benefit of his dead mother.

From this assembly, many Buddhist countries developed the custom of offering food, clothing and other items to hungry spirits in the month when the realms of Heaven, Hell and the living are open. Intrinsic to the seventh month is ancestor worship, where traditionally the filial piety of descendants extends to their ancestors even after their deaths.

From India, these stories honoring the dead reached China and the Chinese assimilated certain Buddhist teachings into their ceremonies. Strongly influenced by the traditions of its neighbor, Vietnamese families began celebrating Ullambana.

The object of this ceremony is to feed the hungry ghosts and to pray for their salvation. This ceremony is a way for people to meet their compassionate filial duty.

During the ceremony, offerings are made to rescue up to seven generations of ancestors from whatever misery they might be suffering. During the month, every family can choose a day to present a feast and burn joss paper and incense in front of the house to invite the spirits to eat. 

The Ullambana Sutra says: “People should vow to help their parents live 100 years without illness, suffering, afflictions or worries. They should also vow to alleviate the suffering of the hungry spirits of seven generations of ancestors to allow them to be born among men and gods and to have blessing and bliss without limit.”

The Vu Lan festival has become exceedingly popular. It is closely connected to the Asian tradition of ancestor worship and filial piety.

One of the traditions of this day is for people – Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike – who wish to express their gratefulness and appreciation towards their mothers, to go to a pagoda, often wearing a rose.

Thousands of people flock to pagodas wearing red roses if their parents are alive or white roses if their parents have passed away. Developed by the respected Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, this new aspect of the Vu Lan Festival quickly attracted younger generations. It started at the same time as the new development of Buddhism in South Vietnam in 1962.

The noted monk said he was inspired by the flower-wearing tradition of Japanese people on their own Mother’s Day. The rose has been a symbol of love and sharing among parents and their children regardless of social background.

While the Westerners have Mothers’ Day to be proud of, Vietnamese treasure their seventh lunar month festival in general and the Vu Lan day in particular as a time to pay tribute to their loved ones, dead or alive.


Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh




Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh





Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh




Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh




Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh




Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh





Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh




Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh



Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh



Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh




Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh



Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh




Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh



Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh




Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh




Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh




Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh




Vu lan, chùa Phúc Khánh





            19 giờ, nghi lễ chính thức bắt đầu, lúc này trời cũng bắt mưa to hơn nhưng hàng nghìn người vãn tấp nập keo đến làm lễ.




            Nhiều người không chen được chỗ đứng nên phải đứng ngay phía trên cầu vượt Ngã Tư Sở.








            Với quan niệm âm siêu dương thái, cõi âm có siêu thoát mới có thể phù hộ cho cõi dương thịnh vượng, nội dung chính của Đại lễ Vu Lan tại Tổ đình Phúc Khánh sẽ chủ yếu là tụng kinh để cầu nguyện cho hương hồn những người đã khuất được siêu thoát, cầu cho Quốc thái dân an và nhắc nhở mọi người ghi nhớ công ơn cha mẹ.





Hai-Thuong

Thousands flock to Hanoi's pagoda in the rain for Vu Lan Festival, phuc khanh pagoda, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news
 
*
*
*
  Send